Islamic marriage advice and family advice

We both want to live separate but we are worried about how his parents will react.

Angry in-laws


My husband and I have recently decided that we would like to live away from his mum and dad. We have been married for almost 4 years and originally lived with his parents and his brother in a small flat. I was unhappy with the situation as I was home alone a lot of the time with just my brother in law who was unemployed. I was surprised that a family who I was told were very practicing could see nothing wrong in this, only myself and my husband objected.

When we first decided that it would be best for us to move out, since his brother had no job; my husband decided to break it to his family. The reaction he received was absolutely shocking to me. I had always found the relationships within the family unusual, everyone seemed to have an awful temper but this time they went over board. They took my husband mentioning that he didn't think it was right for me to be living in such close contact with my brother in law as a direct insult to them and a betrayal of his brother. They felt that he had chosen me over them and I had poisoned him against his brother just to move out. My husband knew this was all untrue but felt he could no longer pursue this subject as it was just causing so much friction.

A few weeks later my brother-in-law announced that he was moving out; this came as a shock to me but my husband said he was planning to move in with his girlfriend all along. My in-laws did not know this but blamed me and my husband, that their son was being forced out of the house and being made to live alone. Whilst my husband was at work one day my brother-in-law was speaking to his mum about my husband (we lived in a very small flat so I'm sure they knew I could hear), he bad mouthed my husband so much that I was reduced to tears, he turned his mum against her own son and told her that my husband 'just doesn't understand our culture  he moved out just after that. We didn't want to hurt them with the truth so they still don't know that their son is happily cohabiting with his Eastern European girlfriend. They blame us for the fact that he hardly ever comes to visit and have been harboring a grudge against me ever since.

My husband is the only one who supports this family and it breaks my heart that he gets so little respect from them and his older sister who lives abroad. I hear my mother-in-law badmouth my husband on a daily basis and every time he says something she doesn't agree with she makes snide remarks under her breath and pulls faces. I hear all of this but hide it from my husband because I know how much it will upset him but he notices her attitude himself. My husband bought a house that we can barely afford to keep his Mum happy, so that she can show people she has a nice house, but still no thanks. I do all the cooking and cleaning, chauffeur my MIL around wherever she wants to go, ask her if she wants to visit family and just try to keep her happy. She takes and takes but still has not a good word to say about either me or my husband. When my sister-in-law comes to stay for 3 months during the summer, I drop any plans I have to take them wherever they want to go, do whatever they want to do. I forego seeing my family just to keep them happy during the summer, which is the only chance my family get to spend real fun time together. Yet if I do go out even once; I come home to find none of them will speak properly to me and I am in the doghouse.

My husband notices all of this and we have both grown weary of the constant uphill struggle with them, we feel that if nobody in the household is happy then we shouldn't force ourselves to stay together, maybe distance will make the heart grown fonder? We want to live close by and still maintain regular contact with them, just have our own space where we can be free and develop our own relationship, all the tension has put a huge strain in our marriage and we are both constantly stressed. However we do not know how to break it to the family, if we move it will just be his mother n father alone and we will be seen as evil!  They are both fully mobile and in good health Alhamdulillah; we know this will be best for our marriage and for our deen but we're hesitant to hurt them! Has anyone else been in a similar situation and can maybe shed some light on our predicament?

Boy this is a long post! Sorry to vent xx


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6 Responses »

  1. Salaam.

    I am sorry to hear about the way they are treating you.
    You have every right to move out and live your own life. Do not let them convince you otherwise. Living in this environment with them will undoubtedly affect your marriage and you have rights over one another. Of course they will probably take the news badly but just know deep down that neither you and your husband are in the wrong for moving out. They can only guilt-trip you with your permission so be polite but do not let them make you feel guilty!

    The more difficult thing will be maintaining contact and adab regardless of their behaviour. I feel quite sorry for your MIL if I am honest for her treatment towards you and her son is harming her more than it is harming you. Be aware of this, regardless of how they treat you both, always treat them well.

    Do it to please Allah swt. If you sincerely fix your intention it will be easier as no matter what hardship you are both faced with you win. If you treat her well - you are rewarded. If you treat her well and she treats you bad - you are rewarded even more. But if you stoop to her level and disrespect her, even if she does to you - you lose that reward. So remain steadfast dear sister, and encourage your husband to do the same.

    Give it a little time before re-initiating contact again. Let the bad feelings they may have blow over and do not engage in an argument with them.

    My dear sister, helping others is important in Islam- we should always fulfill the rights that others have over us in the best way. However it is equally important to fulfill our own rights, and even more important to fulfil the rights that Allah has over us. If it is affecting your marriage and your deen, it is a must you should move out.

    I pray that Allah swt softens their hearts and helps you both to be patient.

    Sara Editor

  2. Wa alaikum assalaam,

    Your situation is a very unfortunate one that many young asian couples go through, and its very distressing, especially for the daughter in law who has to put up with it the most as the husband gets a break when hes out at work atleast.
    I have experienced what you are going through and have one advice if you want your marriage to work: move out. Get away from the inlaws...keep the relationship of course, but no need to be in each others faces all the time.
    Otherwise be prepared that slowly but surely this constant daily stress and tension will bring a distance in you and your husbands relationship.

    In fact, you are very fortunate and blessed to have a husband who realises how things are and is not biased against his family. Im sure you must be aware of how many sisters face this and have a husband who is biased towards his family or just turns a blind eye to their wrongdoing. So alhamdulillah that atleast he sees how things are and wants to work WITH you and not against you into fixing things.

    You are islamically entitled to have your own place. One of the rights that Allah has given to the wife is that of her own 'living space' which in the west in todays world would = her own flat at the very least. Thats her bedroom, living space, kitchen and bathroom. She is entitled to have her own private living quarter which includes these things.

    I realise that much of the pakistani/indian culture makes this whole natural process of the son providing his wife with her house seem like crime of the century but the only way to get rid of it is by people making it happen..

    There is no point in me telling you to stay and make it work because sometimes you just know better....You cannot change your in laws hence there is no point. They will most likely always be the way they are now and so will be a poison to you and your hubbys relationship and the atmosphere of the home.

    May Allah swt make it easy for you, Ameen.

    Was salaam

  3. Venting is healthy and we all need to do it every now and then. My humble advice...start looking for a place of your own. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you and your husband wanting a place of your own to share and begin your lives in...none.

  4. why can't muslim parents be nice so their childern will respect them more

    • Say what?

      Looks like another delete and moderated user case to me dear editors.

      -peace out

    • Akeel,

      I think parents in general often listen to their children, but do not hear them. This goes for parents of all walks of life, color and faith, not just Muslim parents. Raising children is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination and to be fair...respect goes both ways. One has to give respect in order to receive it.

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